Dubai, UAE – 7March 2018:As the Gulf countries press ahead with bold plans for transformation towards greater energy efficiency and renewable power sources, there is a growing need for regulation of energy use, increased collaboration between corporates and countries, and data-driven innovationif the transition to smart energy is going to be successful.
That was the message from an expert panel of women powering the UAE’s future energy plans during a captivating session at the first-ever Global Smart Energy Summit (GSES), a thought leadership and knowledge sharing conference running alongside Middle East Electricity 2018 (MEE) at Dubai World Trade Centre until March 8.
The powerful all-female panel ofH.E. Engineer Fatima Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Electricity and Future Energy, Ministry of Energy& Industry, UAE;Habiba AlMar’ashi, Co-Founder and Chairperson, Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), UAE; EngineerSuhailaMarafi, Director, Department of Studies & Research, Ministry of Electricity & Water, Kuwait; and EngineerMaithaKhalifa AlMazroei, Head of Sustainability Research & Studies Section, Dubai Municipality, discussed ‘Regional smart energy leadership: Accelerating the global transition to smart energy through policy reform’.
Reflecting on the environmental impact of the GCC’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades, Al Mar’ashi emphasised the importance of transitioning tosmart energy systems to secure sustainable future development.
“Economic growth must go hand-in-hand with socio-environmental health and we need to look at how we work to correct and reverse the impacts of climate change and global warming by entering an era of renewable energy powered smart energy,” she said.
Engineer AlMazroei highlighted the role of Dubai and Dubai Municipality in realising the UAE’s sustainable development goals by citing one of emirate’s many forward-thinkingenergy initiatives - the recent announcement of the world’slargestAED2.5 billion waste-to-energy plant, which aims to treat 1.82-million tonnes of solid waste annually with capacity to generate 185 MW of electricity by 2020. Similarly, Kuwait’s commitment to future energy projects, including a USD1.2 billion investment in power plants,further demonstrates the GCC’s commitment to smarter solutions for meeting regional energy needs, said Engineer Marafi from Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water.
While GCC states continue to make impressive in-roads in addressing energy consumption, and climate change, the far-reaching mission could be enhanced by the consolidation of research, regional regulation and data-driven decisions. Promoting the value of data in the pursuit of clean energy, Eng.Marafi said: “In Kuwait, we conducted research to identify the country’s largest sources of energy waste and found that our schools and mosques were the biggest contributors due to central air conditioning being left on extensively throughout the year. As a result, regulation was introduced to control air conditioning usage, which saved a total of 500 megawatts in one year alone.”
The GCC’s demand for energy will require US$81 billion investment in another 62GW of increased capacity over the next five years according to the Venture Onsite 2018 GCC Power Market report, commissioned by this week’s Middle East Electricity.,The panel concluded that regulation of the sector has never been more vital and increased collaboration at bothnational and regional levels is a priority, whilecollaboration to manage and use data is another must.
“The role of the private sector in working with governments to drive innovation through the use of disruptive technologies and constructive management of data must be on the table to help us build climate resilient and carbon-neutralcities,”said Al Mar’ashi.
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About Global Smart Energy Summit
The inaugural Global Smart Energy Summit (GSES) is the inaugural Smart energy thought leadership and knowledge sharing conference which will run alongside Middle East Electricity from 6-8 March 2018.
Organised by Informa Exhibitions, GSES 2018 will attract more than 700 senior decision makers from various sectors and bring together regional and global government energy leaders, regulators, utility companies, contractors, consultants and energy end-users for three days of interactive dialogue, thought leadership and networking on the major topics, technologies and processes that are set to redefine the way we live and work.